All News

September 26, 2023

Gašper Beguš gave an invited colloquium talk on "Modeling Language as a dependency between the latent space and data" at the University of Arizona's Department of Linguistics on September 22, 2023. The abstract can be found here:

A new volume of papers on language documention edited by Berkeley linguistics faculty members Peter Jenks and Lev Michael includes a paper by

September 22, 2023

Maksymilian Dabkowski published a paper on "Two grammars of A’ingae glottalization: A case for Cophonologies by Phase" in NLLT. You can read the paper here:

Wesley dos Santos published a paper on "Asymmetries among Person Indexes in Kawahíva"in the International Journal of American Linguistics. You can find the paper here:

September 21, 2023

Gašper Beguš gave a virtual invited hall titled Modeling language from raw speech with GANs” at the CHAI: Chat about AI colloquium at the School of Data Science and AI, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Guwahati) on September 13, 2023.

September 20, 2023

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • SSCircle - Friday, Sep 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4pm: Tyler Lemon (UC Berkeley) "Low nominative agreement in Uab Meto and its interactions with verbal and nominalizing morphology"
  • Phorum - Friday, Sep 22 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5pm: Jonathan Paramore (UC Santa Cruz): "Codas are universally moraic"
  • SLaB - Tuesday, Sep 26 - Dwinelle 5125 and Zoom - 3:30-4:30pm: Eve Fleisig: "Diagnosing Linguistic Discrimination in Large Language Models: Negative Politeness Strategies in ChatGPT Responses to African-American English."
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Sep 27 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-4:30pm: Chris Beier (UC Berkeley) and Zach O'Hagan (UC Berkeley): Round-table discussion about the logistics of grammar writing, grammar organization, and making grammars useful for different audiences, including the language community
  • SSCircle - Friday, Sep 29 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4pm: Emily Clem (UC San Diego) & Amy Rose Deal (UC Berkeley): TBD
  • Phorum - Friday, Sep 29 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5pm: Alex Elias (UC Berkeley): "Just because you can doesn’t mean you should: Two analyses of Jao’s phonemic inventory"

Oliver Whitmore presented a paper "Naming a Place for Occitan in the US French Curriculum" at the XIVth Congress of the International Association for Occitan Studies, held at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, Sept 11-15.

Cameron Flynn ( and Oliver Whitmore ( are pleased to announce the start of the Romance Studies working group this fall. This group brings together scholars at both the graduate and undergraduate levels — providing a space to share research and explore questions that transcend disciplinary and language boundaries . As such, it's open to those working on any Romance language(s) through any disciplinary lens, including but not limited to linguistics, cultural studies, literature, history, art, politics, and science. The group's first meeting will be Friday, Sept  22, from 3:30-4:30 in 4229 Dwinelle. Please contact Cameron or Oliver to learn more!

September 14, 2023

Gašper Beguš recently appeared on the Stack Overflow Podcast and the STARTS podcast talking about computers and language. You can listen to the podcasts at the following links:,

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

Hannah Sande has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!  Congratulations!

Congrats to the current and recent Berkeley linguists who will be presenting at New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 51, taking place at Queens College, CUNY from October 13 to 15:

  • Julianne Kapner: "Ne-omission in Ivorian French celebrity interviews on YouTube"
  • Chaya R. Nove: "Linguistic innovation or ancestral feature? The case of tsuzamen and tsam in Hasidic Yiddish"
  • Noah Macey, Michael Stern, Sang-Im Lee-Kim, Jason Shaw: "A dynamic neural model of the interaction between social and lexical influences on speech production: the case of retroflex sibilants in Taiwan Mandarin"
  • Cooper Bedin, Lal Zimman, Marina Zhukova: "Operationalizing gender: Methods for statistical modeling of open-response demographic data"
  • Nicole Rosen, Alexandra Pfiffner: "A culture of labour: indexing ‘blue-collar’ through a lower /s/ COG in Manitoba, Canada"
  • Eve Fleisig: "Hedges and apologies in ChatGPT responses to African-American English and Mainstream U.S. English"
  • Baichen DuAlexandra PfiffnerKeith Johnson: "Visible articulatory variation as a cue to sound change: Lip rounding and lip protrusion variability in the Mandarin sibilant merger"
  • Irene Yi, Grace Wong: "Social Perception and Categorization of Southern Mandarin Accents"
  • Grace Wong, Irene Yi: "Social attribute ratings of Mandarin varieties in different countries"
  • Naitian Zhou: "Artificial accents: assessing phonological variation in voice cloning software"
  • Aurora Martinez Kane: "Social perceptions of Traditional New Mexican Spanish paragoge across communities"
  • Dakota Robinson: "Sociophonetic variation in Breton: Analyzing the effects of social factors, language contact, and speaker attitudes"
  • Anton de la Fuente, Julia Peck: "Variable enregisterment and variable stigma: Shifting indexes of locality in Galician"
  • Riley VanMeter: "Quantifying grammaticalization via translation: The position of Lo Cunto de li Cunti’s Neapolitan on the Romance grammaticalization cline"

September 12, 2023

Two (former) Berkeley affiliates presented at the International Conference on Historical Linguistics at Heidelberg University. Johanna Nichols presented on "Reconstructing prehistoric sociolinguistics from modern grammatical evidence" and Anna Berge (PhD 1997, now a professor at the University of

September 10, 2023

The 2023-2024 colloquium series begins on Monday, September 18, with a talk by Wesley Y. Leonard (UC Riverside), rescheduled from last fall. The talk will take place in Dwinelle 370 and synchronously via Zoom (passcode: lxcolloq) from 3:10-5pm. The title of the talk is "Engaging Native American Protocols for Decolonizing Linguistics Pedagogy," and the abstract is as follows:

Although there is an increasing focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in the field of Linguistics, members of Native American and other Indigenous communities remain underrepresented—and often report feeling unwelcome. A recurring concern is that Linguistics, despite a strong disciplinary interest in Indigenous languages, is not accountable to Indigenous histories, protocols, and ways of experiencing language. A wider issue is that colonization is endemic, and academic norms (including whose worldviews guide curriculum) have developed accordingly. For both points, a question emerges about what linguists can or should do in response.

In this colloquium, I examine this question through the norms of how Linguistics is or could be taught, focusing in particular on introductory courses—those in which students are most likely to learn about the field for the first time—and how these courses can engage Native American worldviews and protocols, such as a focus on relationships (relationality) and protocols of honoring those relationships (relational accountability). I argue that doing so when framing core concepts, selecting and presenting examples, and discussing social issues such as language endangerment, naturally supports JEDI for members of Native American and other Indigenous communities, while also improving linguistics pedagogy in general.

September 7, 2023

In and around the linguistics department in the next week:

  • SSCircle - Friday, Sep 8 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4pm: Giovanni Roversi (MIT): "Binding and anti-cataphora in Äiwoo"
  • Phorum - Friday, Sep 8 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5pm: Maksymilian Dąbkowski (UC Berkeley): Phasal strength in A'ingae classifying subordination
  • SLaB - Tuesday, Sep 12 - Dwinelle 5125 - 3:30-4:30pm: SocioSkillShare: R and Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Fieldwork Forum - Wednesday Sep 13 - Dwinelle 1303 and Zoom (password: fforum) - 3:10-4:30pm: Kate Lindsey (Boston University): A speaker-focused grammar of Ende, a language of Papua New Guinea
  • SSCircle - Friday, Sep 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 3-4pm: Anastasia Tsilia (MIT) "Effects of iconicity and monotonicity on licensing complement anaphora"
  • Phorum - Friday, Sep 15 - Dwinelle 1303 - 4-5pm: Katherine Russell (UC Berkeley): Morpheme-specific nasalization in Atchan

Gasper Beguš' research on Generative AI and whale communication was featured in Science News Explores:

September 6, 2023

Peter Jenks is giving a talk (via Zoom) at the 4th meeting of the Definiteness across Domains DFG network this Sunday at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The talk is entitled "Anaphoric bare nouns without indices". The program is available here:

Zach O'Hagan sends the following report from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

September 4, 2023

Darya Kavitskaya published an article with co-author Florian Wandl "On the reconstruction of contrastive secondary palatalization in Common Slavic" in the Journal of Historical Linguistics. Congrats, Dasha!

August 31, 2023

Line Mikkelsen just returned from teaching a two-week intensive workshop on non-verbal clauses at CIESAS-sureste in San Cristóbal, Chiapas, Mexico (photo below). Participants included PhD students and professors in the graduate program in "Lingüistica Indoamericana" at CIESAS, as well as linguists from other institutions in Mexico. Our own Wendy López Márquez, who is an alum of the CIESAS MA program, was also in attendance.